Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Road to Recovery

Life is funny the way it works. How one thing leads to another, and before you know it you find yourself somewhere where you never ever expected to find yourself. That's what happened to me, big time. Back in 2013 I decided to lose some weight and in order to fully commit myself to the project I challenged my coworker Karri to walk 90 kilometres in a month. Little challenge never hurts anyone, right. I'm competitive like that and I like to win. It motivates me more than just trying to do something on my own, without real goal in mind.

What I did not know, back then, how it would change my life. How it would change Karri's life too. Because that little challenge wasn't enough for us. It was actually too easy. I  think we both ended up walking way more than just 90 kilometres. And that daily walking habit lead us to running. Why walk when you can run? And so we both picked up running too. I was little late to the party and didn't manage to run so much in 2013... but I started running as soon as it was possible the next year.

And last year, 2014, I started to run even more seriously. And I got better at it. And somewhere along the way my goal changed. I wasn't running to lose weight anymore, I ran because I liked it and I wanted to be able to run even faster. I think that for the first time ever I  exercised for other reason than just to lose weight. And it felt good. It felt healthy. It felt normal, like a natural thing to do. It was a start for something new, though it still took me a long time to get where I am now.

I wanted to get better at running so I decided I needed to build some muscles too. So I got myself a little 6kg kettlebell. And oh boy it was hard. But I did it, semiregularly. Didn't really manage to build any muscle during the running season, mostly due to my own laziness. But I got familiar with kettlebell exercising.

So to summarize the story so far: walking lead to running and running lead to kettlebell exercising.

Last year I participated in Helsinki Midnight Run. Talking about real goals here! I used to be a girl who didn't run, and who were probably able to run 10 metres. And then I became a girl who was able to run 10K, nonstop. Not super fast though, but hey, it was a big deal for me. I participated in a god damn race! But Helsinki Midnight Run also pretty much ended my running season. There was a lot happening during that time, I think my social life kinda got in the way of my running. No regrets though, I am more than happy that I decided to invest in my social life rather than running. Me having social life has lead to so many good things that there are no words to even describe them.

After my running season was finished, I drifted for couple months, not sure what to do next. I gained weight. Like crazy. Before I even noticed it myself  I was the chubby girl again. Something just had to change because the idea of starting the next running season from zero was killing me. I wanted to get better, not to start all over again!

So in November I finally picked up the kettlebells again. And since I wasn't running, they become my main focus. I trained several times a week. I got better, fast. What used to be too heavy for me become easy. I got heavier kettlebells. I trained harder and longer than ever before. But I saw no physical change really, I just got stronger. Which is not a bad thing, of course. After all it meant that somewhere under all the chubbiness I was building muscles. And the idea of having muscles, even invisible, was quite a nice one.

And that lead to my next major breakthrough. 

Apparently you need protein in order to build muscles. And to get protein you need to actually eat food. Which is something I have never really been good at. I used to be some kind of anorexic person when I was younger. And even though I have thought for years that I am no longer that person, I was. I wasn't eating the way I was supposed to be. I was eating, but I was still thinking that it's somehow bad and that it was holding me back. And I was eating all the wrong things too because I didn't know any better. I wasn't definitely eating much protein because I just didn't like meat. Never occurred to me that it's something you should actually eat if you don't get the protein elsewhere.

I've been on a very strict diet this year. And usually diet means that you eat less than normally. But I have been eating much more than usually. And there is a lot more protein in my diet than ever before, now I eat meat every day. And have I gained weight like one would assume considering how much more I am eating now? No. I have been losing weight, steadily. And my weight has stopped fluctuating, no up and downs anymore. I think I have finally realized why eating is so essential. It's not something you have to do, but something you should want to do in order to give your body what is needs in order to achieve the things you want to achieve. Can't build muscles without protein, can't get energy to exercise without carbs.

It's been a long way to recovery, but I am here now. And that's all that matters. And all this, exercising and eating right has changed the way I feel about myself. It has changed my standard of beauty. I no longer want to be skinny. Hell no. I want to be strong and fit. When I look myself in the mirror I want to be able to think "I worked hard to get here" and not "I starved myself for this". There's a difference, and it's a different look too. I now very much prefer the first look.

And working hard... actually makes me happy. I enjoy the things I do for myself now. Kettlebells make me happy, being able to lift heavier weights makes me happy, running makes me happy, eating makes me happy. All those things I do nowadays make me happy. And you know what doesn't make you happy? Not eating, Starving. Being miserable when eating. I know that, because I've been there. I have been the skinny girl and I think I have never ever been more unhappy than during those years. Yes, I was thin but I was feeling like crap all the time.

But right now, here where I am mentally, I wouldn't trade my body to be skinny, not in a million years. I rather be the way I am right now than skinny fat. So yeah, maybe I have recovered. Took me some time, but I got here. Now I just need to keep going to see how far it takes me.

This is just a start.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Material for art

I was very productive today with photography. We walked to the dog park and back and I got the camera with me... and I took over 200 pictures. I always take a ton of pictures when I shoot something. I have a very low success rate. I need to take 100 pictures to get one I really like. Anyway. When I go out shooting I rarely use the display on the camera, I only use the view finder. And I just click click click pictures like no tomorrow. The pictures I take are not my art. They don't really matter. I don't really bother to check them on the go. I trust my instincts. The pictures I take are only my material. I use it to make my own art afterwards. That's how it works for me. My pictures are never ever finished when I press the shutter. They are not even half finished. They are nothing until I've worked my own magic on them.

I also pondered today if the thing I do is considered art. I guess it is art, art photography, fine art... But I don't really feel like making art when I make my pictures. For me art is something less digital. I think I need to change my attitude because my pictures are definitely more than just pictures. They are closer to art than regular snap shots.


I am too tired to write. But here are some pictures I took today:

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

But then again NO

Oh my. I thought the Blogger post editor was looking all new and fresh... And I liked it a lot! Then I realized it's still the same post editor, I just had it zoomed at 125%. That's gonna be my new default. Sometimes things do look better when they are bigger. Anyway.

I've been reading even more of my old blog posts and now it annoys me that I started to write less personal stuff because all the hobbies stuff are driving me pretty much crazy. I don't give a damn about the things I've crocheted in the past, I want to know how I have felt! 

I kinda feel like starting a new blog, but then again NO. I already have too many blogs. A new one would not change a thing. I should just stick with what I have. It's just hard to start being more personal after being so vague for so long. Maybe I should start an anonymous blog, with a completely new pseudonym. But then again NO. That sounds to laborious. 

Blogger girl problems?

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Does anything ever really change?

I've been entertaining myself by reading my old blog posts, posts from the first year I started blogging here. And I can't help but wonder if anything ever really changes. If we change, as a person. I feel like I am totally different person nowadays compared to what I was eight years ago. I am a lot happier and also a much, much healthier than back then. But still...  Maybe my life has changed around me but I am still the same person?

I still have the same hopes and dreams. I still want the same things for my life. And I still have the same insecurities. And I still feel that food is some kind of an enemy you have to battle with, even though I nowadays do eat and don't stress so much over it.

Some things have changed though. Some.

I am not as depressed and as sad as I used to be. Most of that came from the crappy relationship I was in at the time, I just didn't realize it back then. I thought it was the only good thing in my life but boy was I wrong. I still have days when I feel extremely sad or feel like disappearing completely but they are just that: days. Not weeks, not months, not years. Just days here and there and that's OK.

I have also managed to let go of my anger. At least mostly. That's another thing I wasn't able to recognize when I was younger. I used to be badly bullied at school for years and even though I managed to escape, even though I managed to survive, I carried that hate with me for years. I still feel a bit mad sometimes, mad for the people who ruined so much of my childhood, but it doesn't affect me the same way any more. When I think of those years I don't get  overwhelmed by the anger, I just feel sorry for my childhood self. I wish I could have done something.

And food. I am still funny with the subject. I still feel like I don't really need food. I just eat food because it's easier. It's still an issue but I have not allowed it to control my life anymore. I eat. I like eating. But there are days when I definitely miss the euphoria that comes from fasting and loosing ton of weight. I'm not gonna lie. It was the best feeling ever, even though it's sick to even think of it. But I have managed to correct my body image, at least for a bit. I still feel like a chubby kid inside but somehow I know now that it's not how I am on the outside. So I don't allow it to determine how I dress etc. I used to weight 10 kilos less than now, and I remember standing the fitting room thinking I looked too fat in skinny jeans and wondered how much more weight I would need to lose in order to feel good in then. And here I am now, wearing skinniest skinny jeans ever and feeling good. It wasn't about the weight at all.

I am happy that I have kept blogging through these years... though it saddens me that at some point I stopped writing about my "personal shit" (had to drop that inside joke here, even though Julia probably doesn't read my blog anymore since it's been years and years and years since we were in touch). It's nice to have something to look back to, to reflect. To see how things have changed, or if they have changed at all.

I should really start to blog more, and more personal stuff too. Just so I could one day look how my life was when I was 27. The same way I can now look at my life when I was 21.

But seriously? Does anything ever really change? Do I still feel the same things when I am 38? I hope not!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Maybe over?

Yesterday we visited the vet once again, mostly to make a new blood test to see if Niila's any better. And guess what! She's officially better! Maybe it's over now. Though it's never really over. Not with pancreatitis. She has to eat low fat food for the rest of her life. But that's a small price to pay. But what is not a small price... and the vet bills. We could have bought two new dogs with the money we spent on Niila. But yeah. It's a small price too. Like there's any other option really when it comes to your furry family members.